Wednesday, May 22, 2024

REVIEWED: Transitions XTRActive photochromic lenses

Hate bright light? These ‘hint of tint’ photochromic lenses react to UV light to knock the edge off a bright day, and stop you squinting

Do you hate bright light? Boarding a plane in winter only to emerge into equatorial sunshine later that day can be a real shock to your eyes. So can emerging into bright light from your hotel after one too many drinks the previous night … or driving long distances in harsh light. Cue photochromic lenses.

Harsh light protectors

The Transitions XTRActive lenses are designed to protect your eyes from the brightest sun and artificial light. They’re primarily aimed at drivers who don’t want to wear sunglasses, but they also work away from the windshield to dampen-down bright light in even the harshest conditions.

UV light blocking

At the core of the XTRActive glasses are Transitions’ lenses, which are able to block 100% of UVA & UVB rays. When they’re exposed to UV light, trillions of photochromic molecules in the lens begin to change structure, making the lenses darken. However, in use, not only do they darken quite quickly when you enter bright light, they do so without you noticing.

Recalibrating light

Inside each lens those molecules recalibrate to allow the exactly right amount of light to reach your eyes. Although they work really well in bright sunlight, visibly knocking the edge of bright sunshine, they also work under cloud cover and inside.

OK, so the XTRActive are probably not the must-have travel accessory of the year, but if you drive a lot overseas in bright conditions, or you spend a lot of time outdoors, these photochromic sunglasses-killers could be for you.

Price as reviewed: from £100

Buy the Transitions XTRActive lenses